ProConnect

Bolster Your Emotional Bonds with EFT

By

Bolster Your Emotional Bonds with EFT
Learn about Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), an option for strengthening the bonds between couples

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Western culture views independence as a virtue. We’ve been taught that a truly strong person doesn’t need anybody to survive and thrive. But being attached to your partner is actually a good thing.

More from YourTango: Just Friends or Emotional Infidelity?

In fact, a secure attachment underlies the strongest relationships. And both partners in such relationships tend to feel “calm, connected, centered and safe,” according to clinical psychologist Lisa Blum, PsyD, who specializes in Emotionally Focused Therapy and leads workshops for couples with her colleague Silvina Irwin, Ph.D. Also, a secure attachment helps partners as individuals, too. ““Good secure bonding helps you be bolder in the world and feel more empowered,” Blum said.

Founded by Drs. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg, emotionally focused therapy or EFT draws on attachment theory, which asserts that humans are hardwired for strong emotional bonds with others. According to EFT, couples have relationship problems when they’ve “experienced emotional disconnection with their partner at key moments, which then leads to struggles” with negative cycles of criticism and anger (among other emotions and reactions). Therefore, the aim of EFT is to help couples overcome these negative cycles, re-establish their connection, and strengthen their emotional bond.

Research has shown that EFT is highly effective. “Seven out of 10 distressed couples [who seek EFT] show marked improvement, move out of distress and stay there,” Blum said. (The International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy website lists several noted research publications.)

What It Means To Be Securely Attached

A secure attachment signifies a successful relationship. So what does a securely attached couple look like? According to Blum, both partners in a secure relationship are able to tune into, identify and accept their own emotions and needs. They’re able to recognize when they’re feeling disconnected and distant from their partner and to speak candidly about their needs and emotions.

More from YourTango: Recognizing the Signs of Love Addiction

Take the example of a wife who’s working on several big projects at work, which take her away from home more and more. Her husband understands and supports his wife. The first week he’s perfectly OK with the situation. The next week, though, he starts to get uncomfortable. By the third week, he’s angry and “prickly toward her.” At this point, he considers his feelings and behaviors. He realizes that he’s feeling lonely and like work has become his wife’s number one priority over him. He’s able to tune into his feelings, identify them and accept them, Blum said.

(On a side note, many people, especially men, feel ashamed about feeling lonely or needing their partner. Again, there’s an expectation in our society that we shouldn’t need anyone. But remember that we’re hardwired for closeness. So don’t put yourself down for these thoughts and reactions.)

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

Just Friends or Emotional Infidelity?

By

A new sort of infidelity has been on the rise for decades, and it's one of the biggest threats to marriage: "emotional affairs." Today's workplace has become the new danger zone of opportunities for emotional affairs, surpassed only by the Internet. A relationship without sex can be just as intense, or more so than a sexual one. Not ... Read more

Recognizing the Signs of Love Addiction

By

While people may admit to having struggles in their relationships, including difficulty with intimacy, it is sometimes hard to admit that you struggle with love addiction. But what if you have come to terms with love addiction, and realized that you are struggling with behaviors that are a source of upset and unmanageability in your life? What if you ... Read more

5 Rituals to Strengthen Your Marriage

By

I’m a big believer in the power of ritual. When you do something over and over, you start to anticipate the feelings you’ll have. So when it comes to our relationships, it’s important to have rituals that make us feel emotionally connected. Perhaps even more importantly, they create the expectation of being emotionally connected, which is half ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Crazy

Guide to Becoming a Soulfull Woman Understand Your Beliefs

Once you understand where your beliefs about yourself came from, you determine what's really YOU

Flirty Talk

7 Reasons Why You Have a Fear of Love

Dr. Martha Tara Lee shares 7 reasons you have fear about love and 3 truths you can take on board.

Summer Couple

Ditch Your Need for Certainty: Cultivate These Nine Traits

Sometimes we find ourselves on the precipice of a decision and become paralyzed. We hesitate ...

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS